Playoff contention on line for GHS Friday

Published 6:46 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Greenville Tigers are looking to close out their final home game of the regular season by securing a playoff spot Friday, but they’ll face a formidable challenge against a familiar opponent.

The Booker T. Washington Golden Eagles seek to play the role of spoiler and thwart the Tigers’ playoff hopes. And though the team’s 3-4 overall record wouldn’t suggest it, the Golden Eagles are more capable of doing just that than at any point in the past four years.

An impeccable Booker T. Washington run game has kept the team afloat against a number of strong teams; a single overtime score prevented the Golden Eagles from upsetting Eufaula back in Week 2.

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Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon said that a multifaceted Golden Eagles offense could make a defense pay in any number of ways.

“They’ve got a really talented running back who does a good job,” McLendon said.  “He’s quick, he’s got good size on him and he runs the ball really well.

“And their offense can be versatile—they run the ball right at you in the I-formation, and they can also spread you out a little bit.”

The Tigers have faced no shortage of talented backfields in the 2017 season, and McLendon hopes that those experiences this season will culminate in a Tiger team more capable of defending the run Friday.

“It definitely hasn’t been easy,” he added.  “It seems like every week, whether it’s starting out with Beauregard or playing Wetumpka, we’ve had a good running back to go up against.

“That’s just the way it’s been this year.  Any time you go up against a good running back, you always want to focus on tackling.  And I think it starts with the preparation during the week, getting lined up and having a good plan on defense where everyone understands what they’re doing.  And then it’s just effort, and getting as many people to the ball as we can.”

Effort is something McLendon expects to see each Friday, but he imagines that this Friday will mean something more to a large percentage of his players as the team celebrates senior night.

For several seniors who have represented the city well for a number of years, McLendon and the coaching staff are looking to return the favor.

“This is a night where we want to recognize those guys, especially the ones who have been with us for four years and played a lot of snaps,” McLendon said.

“It’s a big night for those guys, and we just want to take the time out to thank them and let them know what they’ve meant to the program.  Hopefully, it’s a good night for them.”

The Tigers and the Golden Eagles will square off at Tigers Stadium Friday.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and the Tigers’ senior members will be honored during pre-game.